Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Prepared, to a Degree

Emergency management is a booming field in the United States. Government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels all require them, as do non-governmental organizations, such as the American Red Cross. Private companies, think tanks, and other organizations all use emergency managers and specialists. Since there is a need for this growing field, educational institutions across the country have developed a myriad of emergency management programs, ranging from certificates and associate level degrees to doctoral programs.

I am applying to graduate school for a related field and I realized that blog readers may be interested in emergency management opportunities. Here are some things to consider:

-What kind of degree do you want? As I mentioned before, degrees in this field vary greatly. If you aren’t sure that this field is right for you, a good place to start may be a single course from a community college or a certificate to see if this field interests you.

-What is your availability and schedule preference? Are you able to move cross-country or would you prefer an institution closer to home? For example, many executive certificates or degrees meet at night or maybe once or twice a term. This allows working professionals to carry on their day jobs and work on the coursework at their own pace.

-Are you interested in emergency management, homeland security, or both? Degrees often allow students to specialize in one of these options. These disciplines often overlap and having a broader experience may benefit you later. Other related disciplines include cyber, agriculture, public health, biology, chemistry, international disaster relief, law and government.

If you want to work in an environment where the unpredictable is the norm, where you can save lives, and if you have a knack for acronyms, you may want to consider an education and a career in emergency management.

Here are some additional resources:
FEMA Emergency Management Institute Higher Education Program (list of colleges): http://www.training.fema.gov/emiweb/edu/collegelist/

Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s list of colleges and universities: http://www.chds.us/?partners/institutions

The California Emergency Management Agency’s California Specialized Training Institute (Cal EMA/CSTI): http://www.calema.ca.gov/csti/Pages/Specialist-Certificate-Program.aspx

Amitai "Tai" S. Zuckerman
Preparedness Coordinator
American Red Cross – Tulare and Kings Counties
AmeriCorps NPRC Member 2013-2014
Community Preparedness and Resilience Services

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